Many Thanks Along the Way

I have just spent eight months on the road and most of that time I was not staying in hotels or motels but in the homes of many good friends. I want to sincerely thank every one of you for opening your doors, yours hearts and your homes to my vagabond ways. I enjoyed the variety of experiences at each and every stop and would not hesitate to encumber you with my presence again in the future.

Particular thanks to Randy, Gary and Cyndy, Bill and Kathy, Dan and Sue for not only inviting me to stay but also having the extreme good manners to pack up and leave. The only thing better than good friends would be good friends who offer you the shelter of their home and then go away.

Celebratory thanks are also in order to Pat, Bob and Holly, Jim and Mary Grace for timing their parties to coincide with my visits. The many meals at all stops were just too scruptious to mention but Bill, Pat, Mary Grace and Eric will be remembered for their culinary skills. Also the caterers in Virginia, the grill in Weed and the barbeque at Salt Lick in Austin.

To those who opened their homes for weeks at a stretch, I am gratefully indebited. To those I was only able to share a meal and a conversation, you too. The briefest of stops in the strangest of locations were like beacons into our past.

I learned the intricacies of the DVR at many different stops along the way. I became a fair to average Wii disc golf player and I observed various examples of Ipod, Bluetooth and other new techno devices both enthralling and frustrating their new owners. I even acquired my very first GPS to find my way from doorstep to doorstep. In all cases, I can honestly say to every one including myself: RTFM!

Thanks to David and Kim for opening their spare room on short notice. To all my old college friends in Kalamazoo, was great to see you, wish we had more time to talk. To the several dozen 'friends of friends' I met on my travels, twas nice to make your acquaintance, except for that one crazy woman in Florida. To those I saw but did not homestead with, was good to catch up and to those I missed along the way - I am not done traveling just yet.

Special thanks to the PokerBoyz for all the laughs in Biloxi, when are we doing that again? I would point out for the Boyz that I remain the only member to have met Becky, Rachel and Eric or to have seen and visited all but one of the PokerBoyz home turfs.

I would be remiss without sending cyber scritches to Midnight, Rascal, Matisse, Tigerr, Cat, Duffy, Jerome, Abra, Edmund, Crattchet, Blackie, Java and nuzzlin' my keyboard as I write this - Vlad.

What did I learn on this adventure? Well part of it I hope you will be reading in the book/story I am writing roughly based on the geography, if not the actuality, of the trip. Second, I came to realize on a much deeper level why people refer to me as their friend. I want each and every one of you to know that I value whatever interaction we had, I am humbled that you consider me that type of friend and you have more than repaid me with your friendship and camaraderie. Each and every one.